Outpouring of support for Ruby Tuesday cook who walks 18 miles to work

Community rallies around Ruby Tuesday cook

MENTOR, Ohio -- Can you imagine getting up at 3 a.m. to walk 18 miles to work?

It's a reality for a Euclid man.

30-year-old Kevan Finley's story has touched the hearts of many in Northeast Ohio.

Finley is a cook at Ruby Tuesday, whose daily journey takes him five hours from his house to Mentor.
His mode of transportation is his feet.

“I risk being late when I catch the bus on Saturdays so I don't like being late. I'd rather walk on those days," said Finley.

His manager says Finley comes in everyday and does a great job. He's never once asked anyone for a ride.

His co-workers have also started a GoFundMe account to jump start a car fund for Finley. 

Since the story aired, donations have been pouring in.

A worker at Ruby Tuesday also told WKYC that customers are giving extra tips for Finley and people have stopped into the restaurant to make a donation.

Finley's story also captured the eye of Mentor Police officer Phil Croucher.

Officer Croucher was driving by and offered Finley a ride.

"I told him I was going to work at Ruby Tuesday so he dropped me off there," said Finley.

Debi Boehlefeld’s husband Greg saw it all unfold.

“He came home and said I have this awesome story to tell you. I saw this Mentor police officer picking up this young man on the side of the road," Boehlefeld recounts her husband’s story.

Officer Phil Croucher isn’t looking for an interview.

But the Boehlefeld’s are singing his praises.

Debi says, "Greg said he was very humble and that the officer said “it's not a big deal.  I just gave him a ride."

"Well he's not the first police officer who has ever offered me a ride so I wasn't too surprised by it.  Thankful, but not surprised," said Finley.

Debi Boehlefeld posted her husband’s account of it on Facebook.

"Everyone is just wishing Kevan well and saying God Bless you.  You are such a hard worker," said Boehlefeld.

With all the generous donations Finley now has enough money to buy his own car. More than 200 people pitched in money for Kevan Finley’s cause. The GoFundMe account has exceeded its goal of $6,000.

The owner of Lakeland Auto Credit in Euclid also wanted to help.

Neil Perry put up $1,000 of his own money, and says if people are moved by Finley’s story, would match another thousand dollars. He had a car ready to give to Finley.

"I've been there. A few years ago I walked some miles in the guy's shoes so I figured I am in a position to help. Why not? People have helped me. I’ll pass it on."

Finley smiled when he says, "I wouldn’t be walking 5 hours to work anymore. That would cut the trip down to about 20 minutes I think."

“I’m very grateful and I’m glad there were so many people who were willing to help,” he said.

He plans to pay it forward and carpool!

“I think I’ll try to offer as many as I can, rides, because I definitely know what they’re going through and what they’re trying to do. So, I wanna be there to help them just like everyone’s here to help me.”

Kevan doesn’t yet have a driver’s license. He’s never needed one. He’s never owned a car before, but he plans to apply for a license as soon as possible. He’ll use some of the money for a car and what’s left over for insurance and other car-related expenses.

(© 2016 WKYC)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment